Next Generation Deception Technology Vs. Honeypot Architecture - Illusive Networks

Next Generation Deception Technology Vs. Honeypot Architecture - Illusive Networks
Illusive Networks

Next Generation Deception Technology
Vs. Honeypot Architecture
Next Generation Deception Technology Vs. Honeypot Architecture - Illusive Networks
Deception Technology 101: A Quick Introduction
The idea of deceiving cyber attackers into thinking       With deceptions placed everywhere throughout the
they’ve   accessed   valuable    data   isn’t   a   new   network and on every attack surface, cyber security
innovation. In 1999, the Honeynet Project, a non-         solutions grow stronger. Essentially, an entire maze
profit dedicated to improving Internet security,          of inescapable deceptions can be placed over the
developed the first network of honeypot technology.       network quickly, cost-effectively, and in a way that
                                                          is scalable for the future.
These decoy computer systems were designed to
purposely engage and deceive hackers in order to          Both honeynets and next-gen deception technology
better understand their tactics and activities. The       have their merits; understanding the key differences
idea was innovative and effective at the time, but        between the two is critical for determining which
as   environments    became     more    sophisticated,    solution can best help an organization defeat the
deception technology needed to follow suit.               cyber   criminals   that      step   into   its   particular
Cyber security professionals with limited time and
resources reported that honeypot solutions were
limited in their extensibility, expensive and difficult           Despite the increasing effort that
                                                                organizations are putting into keeping
to manage. Next-generation deception technology
                                                                intruders out of their networks, once
from Illusive Networks was created to overcome               sophisticated attackers zero in on a specific
limitations inherent in honeypots.                            company or information source, there’s a
                                                                  good chance they’ll find a way in.

Perimeter Defenses Aren’t Slowing Down Attackers
Cyber criminals grow more sophisticated each day,         Reacting to the attacks is the exact problem.
and network security architectures aren’t evolving        Honeynets and next-gen deceptions are markedly
quickly enough to keep up.                                different from traditional cyber security appliances
                                                          and architectural solutions. Where complicated
Despite increasing security investments and best
                                                          applications aim to react to a cyber attack and
efforts, industry studies and research continues to
                                                          isolate it as soon as possible, honeypot architectures
find that sophisticated malware authors and cyber
                                                          and next-gen deceptions take a more proactive
criminals are innovating at a faster pace than
                                                          stance to catch cyber criminals in the act.
security professionals can react to.

Attackers are increasingly able to slip past network
security applications such as IDSs, IPSs, firewalls,
and web application firewalls---regardless of how
new and comprehensive they are.
Next Generation Deception Technology Vs. Honeypot Architecture - Illusive Networks
Think Like an Attacker to
Create a Stronger Layer of
The most notable difference between honeypot
architectures and a next-gen deceptions approach is
their ability to mimic real-world scenarios. Cyber
criminals have come to recognize there’s something           Honeypots are incapable of
not quite right about honeypots, because they don’t
                                                         interacting with a spear phishing
behave like a real user-controlled environment.
When honeypots are deployed, they are configured           attack the way end users do---
to behave in a certain way, and automated to carry     meaning they won’t be able to track
out specific tasks to appear authentic to cyber
criminals. While this may have proven effective in
                                                              the criminal or the attack.
the past, attackers are no longer deceived as they
once were.                                             Cyber Criminals are
For example, social engineering and spear phishing
                                                       Accustomed to Sniffing Out
attacks are an example of how honeypots can be
outsmarted. Many attacks today start out with a lure   Understanding    adversaries    is      essential   for
that prompts a user to act in a way that allows        constructing the defenses that will trap them. Here
malware in to infect the network.                      are some of the ways cyber criminals determine
                                                       whether or not a honeypot is in play:
Honeypots can scan for attachments, an old school
attack vector, but are incapable of interacting with
                                                           If access seems too easy, it’s probably a
a spear phishing attack the way end users do,              fake.
meaning honeypots won’t be able to track the
                                                           Typically, systems connected to the
criminal or the attack. In contrast, next-gen
                                                           Internet are devoid of unnecessary ports
deception technology is far more adaptive. In fact,        and services. Any deviation from this
it’s capable of changing deceptions automatically          configuration could be indicative of a
and not remaining static---like an actual, dynamic
network with natural changes in user and network           If the systems still have factory default
                                                           settings, this increases the chances of a
information.                                               honeypot being present.
Honeypots are a much more static technology,               If there’s a considerable amount of empty
covering only as much of the network as you can            hard drive space or very little software
                                                           installed, it could be a honeypot.
physically integrate with multiple deployments.
Next-gen deception technology significantly covers         If directories are obviously named (credit
                                                           card numbers, employee data), the
more attack vectors, identifying attackers within
                                                           systems are clearly aimed at luring in
three to four lateral movements—even if deceptions         attackers.
aren't deployed on every machine.
(cont’d) All of these warning signs tell cyber criminals that the system may not be legitimate.

 In contrast, next-gen deception technology presents the attacker with endless elements of false information
 that appear genuine, subtly deluding them to the point where the attacker is caught between knowing what is
 real and what is illusion. This constitutes a more disorienting approach capable of misleading even the most
 experienced cyber attacker.

 Next-gen deceptions provide powerful attacker detection and real-time forensics, with virtually no false
 positive alerts, and the attacker never knows his movements are being monitored. Honeypots provide value for
 attacker detainment, but at the cost of more false positive alerts.

 Red Teams Agree: Honeypots Fail in Comparison to
 Inescapable, Next-Gen Deception Technology
 In recent side-by-side Red Team Tests, honeypots provided “comparatively low detection rates with higher
 maintenance and management costs. These solutions are context-less, one-dimensional, and difficult to scale
 in a dynamic environment.” The ROI isn’t compelling for honeynet architectures.

 On the other hand, next-gen deception technology was designed for the modern threat landscape. In Red
 Team Tests, it received high marks across the board:

                                                        •   Red Teams found the next-gen deception technology
                                                            extremely difficult to bypass. They set off thousands
                                                            of alerts as they tried to move laterally through the
EARLY DETECTION OF                                          system. The attack was easily tracked and they were
LATERAL MOVEMENT.                                           prevented from reaching their ultimate goal.

                                                        •   Cyber criminals compromise systems by moving

AN APPROACH                                                 laterally between machines. Security deceptions

ATTACKERS CAN’T                                             detect this early in the process, keeping track of real
                                                            time forensic data and complete attacker profiling.
                                                        •   With a Vector-as-a-Resource (V2R) focus, next-gen
                                                            deceptions catch attackers off guard by appearing in
                                                            places that don’t coincide with old school methods.
                                                            V2R can be anywhere and everywhere on a network,
                                                            making it nearly impossible for attackers to detect
                                                            false scenarios.
Inescapable Deceptions Vs.
Honeypots: Same Goal,
Different Appearance                                    A Changing of the Guard
Both honeypots and next-gen deception technology        Honeypot     architecture     was     innovative     at    its
set out to proactively deceive and track cyber          inception. It paved the way for a more proactive
criminals during the attack phase. That’s where the     approach to cyber security and kept attackers at
similarities end. Each approach looks very different,   bay.
from both the enterprise and criminal perspectives.
                                                        Yet, today, cyber criminals are more specialized,
Honeypots are hardware-based, physical systems          targeted and innovative when it comes to seeking
that are deployed in the workplace and configured       new    attack      vectors   and    circumventing         both
like any other workstation. These static systems act    perimeter defenses and old school honeypot traps.
as a sort of sandbox, luring attackers in with the      In a few short years, the market for cyber security
promise of sensitive data and then keeping track of     solutions   will     reach    $200+       billion.   Clearly,
their every move.                                       companies can no longer afford to concentrate all of
                                                        their resources on firewalls and first line of defense
On the other hand, next-gen deceptions present a
“hall of mirrors.” False information is placed in the
path of attackers who will use the information in       They also need to incorporate “internally focused”
their lateral movement infiltration phase. Attackers    solutions such as next-gen deceptions to help
are methodical—they collect data, analyze it and        identify a criminal while in attack mode. This type
calculate their next move as they relentlessly push     of preemptive technology represents a changing of
through a network.                                      the guard from old school strategies to more
                                                        outside-of-the-box thinking that can finally trace
                                                        and stop professional cyber criminals.

                                                        Cyber criminals are taking the time to analyze the
                                                        human psyche as they craft carefully designed
                                                        malware     lures.    It’s   time   for     cyber    security
                                                        professionals to take a page out of the attackers’
Illusive’s next-gen deceptions takes advantage of       play book and use a more realistic set of illusions to
this mindset and covers the entire network in a         trap, track and thwart their actions from the start.
blanket of finely tuned lures designed to attract
                                                        For those that are serious about detecting attackers
cyber criminals, alert network administrators and
                                                        post-breach, Illusive’s inescapable, next-generation
disrupt the attack.
                                                        deception technology is a vital step.
Not only can companies proactively thwart attacks,
                                                        Where honeypots are confined, next-gen
they can also gather critical information that can      deception technology is far more alluring
prove useful for future defense.                                     and pervasive.
The Illusive Platform
  The Illusive Platform provides centralized management across even the largest and most distributed
  environments. Three modular components work together or be operated separately to preempt, detect, and
  respond to cyberattacks.

                                                             Preempt: Finds and removes errant credentials,
                                                             connections, and attack pathways to deter unauthorized
                                                             lateral movement.

                                                             Detect: Forces attackers to reveal themselves early in the
                                                             attack process by disorienting and manipulating their

                                                             Respond: Enables rapid, effective response and remediation
                                                             when attackers are present by providing contextual source
                                                             and target forensics.

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Illusive Networks stops cyberattacks by destroying attackers’ ability to make
safe decisions as they attempt to move toward their targets. Using Illusive,                                                      ©2019 Illusive Networks Ltd.
organizations eliminate high-risk pathways to critical systems, detect
attackers early in the attack process, and capture real-time forensics that
focus and accelerate incident response and improve resilience. Through
simple, agentless technology, Illusive provides nimble, easy-to-use solutions
that enable organizations to continuously improve their cyber risk posture and
function with greater confidence and agility.
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